Aviators
T

TOMSONS, EDUARDS

Eduards Tomsons
  • September 5 (August 22 by old calendar), 1891 - Born, near Riga
  • Completes Level II of Naval Training / Captaincy program.
  • July 16, 1912 - graduates from flight school in Germany (where he attended with classmates Balodis and Jevlampjevs).
  • November 11, 1913 - completes the Russian flight school in Moscow.
  • August 1914 - graduates from french combat flight school in Paris and volunteers for the French Air Service. Flies recon and artillery spotting missions on the Amiens front.
  • September 10, 1914 - while on a reconnaissance mission he is wounded by AA fire. He manages to bring the severly damaged aircraft back to its airfield.
  • March 20, 1915 - returns to Russia and, on March 24, volunteers for the Russian Air Service.
  • Assigned to the 1st Aviation Corps, Reconnaissance unit and posted to the Warsaw, Minsk and northwest Baltic fronts.
  • October 24, 1915 - promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.
  • 1916 - earns the designation "combat pilot" (a title which he had already received on March 23, 1915 for his service while flying for France.)
  • Awarded the Order of St.George (III and IV class), the Order of St.Ann, and the Order of St.Stanislaus (II class).
  • From May 1915 to January 1917 he logged 187 hours of flight time, performing 115 sorties, and earning three aerial victories (on July 15, 1916, February 25, 1917 and March 3, 1917.).
  • March 31, 1917 - transfers from the Reconnaissance unit to a Fighter Squadron.
  • April 26, 1917 - injured in a plane crash, hospitalized until the end of July.
  • August, 1917 - returns to the 1st Fighter Squadron and is assigned its Commander.
  • September 28, 1917 - Promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant.
  • October 1917 - after the revolution, he joins the Red Army air force, being formed in Petrograd. Shortly thereafter, he is named commander of the 1st Soviet Reconnaissance Squadron.
  • December 11, 1917 - Tomson is transferred to the Civil Aviation Headquarters to organize air travel between St.Petersburg and Moscow.
  • July 19, 1918 - Unhappy with the administrative role, he instead volunteers as an ordinary flyer with the Soviet Latvian Strelnieku Squadron.
  • October 15, 1918 - he is assigned to the Baltic front where he flies against, among others, Edvins Bitte and Aleksandrs Zarins, who are flying for the White Russian forces.
  • February 9, 1919 - promoted Commander of the 2nd Aviation Group, which is active in Kurzeme and Latgale. Shortly afterwards, when this front collapses in retreat, he deserts and travels to Riga.
  • March 3, 1919 - Tomsons, living illegally in Riga, is captured by the Germans. He manages to escape back to the Soviet side and continues to fight for the Reds.
  • May 14, 1919 - Hospitalized in the Belostok hospital, Moscow.
  • May 22, 1919 - finally, as the Bolsheviks retreat from the Baltics, Tomsons deserts to the Latvian side.
  • June 13, 1919 - Joins the newly formed Latvian Aviation Group.
  • June 19, 1919 - named Administrator of the Aviation Group. aide to A.Valeika, and the technical and supply administrator for the Group. He was also responsible for recruiting and examining both flight and technical personnel.
  • September 13 - November 14, 1919 - Tomsons is sent to Germany where he still had many contacts to see if he could acquire some aircraft for Latvia.
  • September 16, 1919 - the Group duties are reorganized and, with Valeika's illness, Tomsons is named Aviation Section Commander, while still left in charge of technical issues.
  • December 28, 1919 - Tomson is replaced in the Technical division by Lt.Col. E.Jaunitis.
  • Tomsons becomes the military attache, sent to Lithuania.
  • January 7, 1920 - Tomsons returns to the Aviation Park, but is assigned administrative duties.
  • April 18, 1920 - Tomsons is released from military service (for reasons of poor health).
  • July 20, 1920 - Tomsons' last appearance in the military aviation record, when he is noted as having flown Sopwith Strutter #11.
  • November 23, 1920 - Tomsons takes part in the founding of the first Latvian Aero Club and is elected as a member of its first administration.
  • Along with his spouse, he emigrates to the USA.

    Sources

    Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture

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